Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, is on its way to dominating the manufacturing industry. Many industries have been noticing and embracing this. Per Gartner, the total “3D printing market will expand at 98.5% compound annual growth rate through 2020 and will be worth $17.7 billion in 2020”. With the rise in 3D printing, there is a steady increase in demand for Hybrid manufacturing.
The process of Hybrid manufacturing is combining both additive and subtractive processes onto one machine. The benefits include the accuracy of subtractive but adding the flexibility of additive, making possible machining operations previously unimaginable. It makes the job much more effortless with the capability to switch between two processes instantly. Hybrid manufacturing can reduce the shortcomings of an additive manufacturing system and is “built on multi-axis systems which allow the building of part features in any direction,” other benefits include capabilities for process development and material characterization, up to 95% waste reduction, and better efficiency which saves material and material costs. A few industries are already utilizing Hybrid manufacturing and are seeing the benefits of the process.
Industries That Benefit From Hybrid Manufacturing
The need for Hybrid manufacturing comes from mainly aerospace and defense industries. These industries usually create products that are made once and use highly complex parts. There is no need for mass production with hybrid machining. Therefore, the aerospace and defense industries benefit from Hybrid machining and reduce part production time. The medical sector can benefit from hybrid machining because of the option to customize parts rather than using premade titanium pieces. Hybrid manufacturing can also produce parts as needed, removing the need for costly, space-consuming inventory. Difficult repairs for molds and tooling that were previously unattainable are now a time, money and material saving option. This promises a bright future for many industries across the globe.
What Does the Future Hold?
The market share is increasing with AM and will have a significant impact on Hybrid manufacturing. For the future “researchers do not expect AM to replace conventional manufacturing processes.” With AM and Hybrid manufacturing, future manufacturers can produce custom material, rapid prototypes and provide an opportunity for new products and better efficiency. DMS has fully integrated Hybrid machines and continues to offer more capabilities to customers.
DMS Hybrid Machines
DMS Hybrid machines come with a standard “Fagor controller and corresponding Fagor Sercos Drive System, which are known as the best in their class for true-to-form tool pathing and additive and subtractive operations.” The machines can be custom to 3 and 5 Axis with a wide variety of configurations.
“Our biggest competitive point is that we build a solid machine for a good price. We were able to beat everyone on quality for a long time. We now have to compete with machines that are better quality and priced more competitively.” -Pete Vassar DMS Production Manager